The main objective of this paper is to investigate and identify the main determinants of successful knowledge management (KM) programs. We draw upon the institutional theory and the theory of technology assimilation to develop an integrative model of KM success that clarifies the role of information technology (IT) in relation to other important KM infrastructural capabilities and to KM process capabilities. We argue that the role of IT cannot be studied in isolation and that the effect of IT on KM success is fully mediated by KM process capabilities. The research model is tested with a survey study involving 191 KM practitioners. The empirical results provided strong support for the model. In addition to its theoretical contributions, this study also presents important practical implications through the identification of specific infrastructural capabilities leading to KM success.
Keywords: Knowledge Management Success, Infrastructural Capabilities, Process Capabilities, Institutional Theory, Technology Assimilation
The way knowledge is represented influences the effectiveness with which that knowledge can be shared and reconstructed. Of particular interest to this study is the hypertext knowledge representation. Based on the schema theory, we propose a model explaining the effect of the hypertext knowledge representation on the user's problem solving performance. The sophistication of the knowledge structure that the user can construct from the hypertext knowledge representation is proposed as an intervening variable mediating the effect of hypertext on the problem solving performance. According to our model, the hypertext representation of the "collective schemata" of a group of experts allows the user to acquire a more complex and better integrated knowledge structure that is more similar to the experts' than does a linear representation. The model further hypothesizes that the complexity, integration and degree of similarity of an individual's schemata to that of domain experts in turn improves significantly the individual's problem solving performance. Compared to the linear representation, the hypertext representation of expert knowledge is expected to improve the quality of problem solving in the organization through the facilitation of the acquisition of more sophisticated knowledge structures by the users. A field experiment was used to verify the hypotheses of our model. This research demonstrates the important role of hypertext knowledge representation in supporting knowledge construction and problem solving.
Keywords: Hypertext, knowledge representation, knowledge elicitation, knowledge construction, problem solving